MATCH REPORT | Bootle 2-0 Southport

MATCH REPORT | Bootle 2-0 Southport

Experimental Southport team were beaten by Bootle at the Delta Taxis Stadium

Appearing in their new pink pre-season kit for the first time, an experimental Southport team were beaten by Bootle at the Delta Taxis Stadium.

First-half goals from Josh Hamilton and Ryan Cox saw the team from the North West Counties Premier Division earn a deserved win against a Port side featuring a large number of trialists.

Bootle took the lead on 19 minutes, Hamilton sending a confident penalty past Southport goalkeeper Ryan Crump.

Bootle had the majority of the early play and they increased their lead just before the half-hour, Ryan Cox converting an excellent cross from the right by Kieran Haligan with a first-time finish.

Southport manager Andy Bishop had always intended to use this fixture to run the rule over the players hopeful of making up the final few places remaining in his squad.

Both teams rang the changes at half-time, and having started the match with a line-up consisting mostly of trialists, there was a more familiar look to Southport’s second-half team.

Their best chances of the match fell to Bishop, the player-manager, who had a header cleared off the goal-line, before Jamie Allen was denied by the crossbar after a cross from John Cofie, a summer signing.

Having completed most of his work early in the summer, Bishop now has the final few places in his squad to decide on.

The manager will give a first run-out to his full first-team squad at Chorley on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.